12 Dating Traps

12 DATING TRAPS

trapDating. In some cultures, if you hit a certain age, you are expected to be getting married soon, or at least be dating. And often, that pressure can lead to depression, anxiety, or, your fall into one of the dating “traps.” In this blog, I list 12 dating traps that one can be easily entangled in.

* These dating traps are not my own; they come from notes on a lesson during a course on Marriage & Counseling, while studying at Oral Roberts University.

SCARCITY TRAP

scarcity“There are only a couple of guys left alive in the world, therefore I’m going to date the first guy I see behind the corner.”

  • Believing there is a limited supply of possible partners, so you have to take what you can get or be alone.
  • Relationship fails because you settle for less and compromise.
  • The solution is to define your goal of what you really want and persevere.

MARKETING TRAP
lip stick“If only I get botox, he will surely fall in love with me!”

“All I have to do is advertise myself more.”

  • Believing that you need to make yourself more appealing to attract a partner and “selling” yourself with attractive packaging and presentation is faulty.
  • There is a high risk of disappointment and relationship failure, because you cant always have “makeup” on, and you cant daily be paying $100 to do your hair.
  • The solution is authenticity. You will attract compatible people when you show them who you really are.
  • “Birds of a feather flock together so don’t try to look like a prize-winning chicken when you are a specialty breed of duck.”

COMPATIBILITY TRAP

compatShe likes the Seahawks, and she likes to go bowling, it means we will be a great couple!”

  • You assume that if you have fun together and get along well, you are compatible and a committed relationship will work.
  • Often, these relationships end in failure when discovering the vast difference between a fun-focused, recreational “dating” and a serious long-term committed relationship.
  • The solution is to define your goals and use them to scout, sort and screen potential partners.
  • You must not try to convert a recreational relationship into a committed one, unless other goals and priorities in your life match.


THE FAIRYTALE TRAP

fairytail

“Oh, I know my soul mate will magically appear and get me, I just have to wait.”

  • It’s a mistake to expect your ideal partner to magically appear (“just happen”) and live happily ever after without effort on your part.
  • The solution is to take personal responsibility for your relationship choices and outcomes.
  • Have effective screening strategies.
  • Initiate contact and be the “Chooser” not simply reacting to people that choose you.

DATE-TO-MATE TRAP

wed dress“Oh my gosh, he asked me out. I cant wait to start looking for a dress.”

  • This is becoming an “instant couple” just because you plan to spend some time together
  • It is a mistake to believe that the first exclusive relationship you develop with someone you are dating will result in a successful committed relationship.
  • The inertia in this trap is pressure to make the relationship work, attempting so solve unsolvable problems and fit the round peg in the square hole because breaking up and being single again is an undesired outcome.
  • The solution is to agree to get to know people, without needed to make each relationship an exclusive relationship.
  • Make careful relationship choices and consciously use a “pre-commitment” period to determine is this is the right relationship for you.

THE ATTRACTION TRAP

barbie“Her hair is so cute looking, how can someone not love her?”

  • It’s a mistake to make relationship choices on the feelings of attraction.
  • Interpreting a strong attraction to someone as a sign that the relationship is a good choice and “meant to be” is wrong
  • This approach results in relationship failure when unsolvable problems surface because you ignored the red flags while infatuated.
  • The solution is to balance your attractions by remembering your goals and using them to screen potential partners.
  • Ask: What is this person’s past history in relationships? What is yours? Have you been attracted to the wrong person before?

THE INFATUATION TRAP

love-vs-infatuation

“Man, I just cant live without her.”

  • This is when you interpret infatuation(short lived passion/lust), attraction, need, and/or attachment as love.
  • This is the attitude of “If it feels good, it must be love. Love is all you need. Love conquers all.”
  • Relationships fail when you discover that love is not enough to meet the relationship needs.
  • The solution is to make conscious relationship choices by clearly understanding your goals and values and then using them to screen potential partners.


THE RESCUE TRAP

rescue“If only I was married, I would be able to do these math problems without any hardship.”

  • Hoping a relationship will solve your emotional and financial difficulties and bring you happiness and fulfillment, something like winning the lottery, is a mistake.
  • You avoid taking responsibility for your life challenges, expecting to be rescued from them.
  • These relationships result in desperation, neediness, and relationship failure when problems multiply instead of disappearing.
  • The solution is to again define your goals and values and live your life as a successful single person. BE WHOLE FIRST.
  • Resolve emotional, financial, and other problems prior to seeking a lasting committed relationship.
  • Seek to be a position of “choice” and “want” rather than “need.”


THE CO-DEPENDENT TRAP

bargain“I’m good in math, you’re good in English. Do you want to marry me?”

  • This is when you are expecting someone to love you and give you what you want by giving them what they want.
  • Attempting to earn love and happiness by acquiescing (to consent without protest), giving and helping.
  • Needing to be needed often results in unconsciously attracting and choosing a relationship with a person that needs you, but you later discover is unable to give you what you want.
  • If you have clearly defined who and what kind of relationship you want, you can choose a closely aligned partner.



THE ENTITLEMENT TRAP

rich home“Im a woman, and we live in America. He must provide for me a Mercedes, and a 6,000 sq home, for me to be happy.”

  • Believing you deserve to be happy and get what you want in your life without effort or changes on your part us is a mistake.
  • Results in relationship failure as you rely on your partner to bring happiness and fulfillment.
  • Take personal responsibility for you life and relationship. Define your life purpose and live it while you are still single.



THE VIRTUAL REALITY TRAP

virtual_reality“I saw him wave to a kid. He will be the best dad in the world.”

  • Believing that “what you see is what you get” is a trap. Making long-term relationship decisions based on short-term impressions and inferences instead of actual experience and knowledge is a mistake.
  • Results in seeing what you want to see and relationship failure when later reality doesn’t match.
  • Assume “you don’t know what you don’t know” and stay in a pre-committed stage until you have solid experience and knowledge that this is the right relationship for you.


THE LONE RANGER TRAP

alone“I don’t need anyone’s help finding a girlfriend. I’ll find her myself.”

  • Believing that you don’t need anyone’s help in finding your Life Partner is a trap.
  • You do not take the opportunity to cultivate new friends.
  • Results in isolation, perception of scarcity of potential partners and risk of settling for less because you don’t want to be alone.
  • Develop a support network of friends, pray, and share with one another!


After reading these dating traps, you might be wondering, “so how do I not fall into one of these traps?” Good question. For a start, read this post on 5 questions to ask, before dating & proposing to someone. https://russellkorets.com/2013/03/28/5-questions-to-ask-before-dating-someone/

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